The Supreme Court Friday said objections of some high courts regarding the proposed centralised scheme for selection of judges for subordinate judiciary were unfounded and were born out of “misunderstanding” of methodology of the recruitment process. A bench of Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justices A M Khanwilkar and A K Goel asked senior counsel and amicus curiae Arvind Datar to prepare a fresh concept note explaining the process and circulate it among the high courts.
The direction came after Datar informed the court that some high courts like Andhra Pradesh and Kerala had objected to the proposal, citing concerns about the language requirement and reservations. “Twelve high courts had broadly agreed in principle to the proposal…the states fear they will have to surrender autonomy”, he said.
The CJI then explained that the candidates will be able to take the exams in the regional language and the committee for viva voce too will have a representative of the respective High Court. Only the selection mechanism was being centralised, he said. CJI Khehar also pointed out that in a meeting with Chief Justices of High Courts on July 22, “all of them had agreed to the centralised scheme for selection of district judges and additional district judges.”
Those objecting did not seem to have followed the apex court order of July 10, the CJI noted.
The standing counsel for Sikkim explained that the confusion over language requirement had arisen out of an earlier circular from the secretary of Justice Department.